The International Air Transport Association (IATA) welcomed the decision by the Biden Administration to enable vaccinated travelers to enter the US with a negative COVID-19 test result prior to travel from early November.
Importantly, this supersedes the so-called 212f restrictions which prevented anyone from entering the US if they had been in 33 specific countries including the UK, Ireland, all Schengen countries, Brazil, South Africa, India, and China within the last 14 days.
“Today’s announcement is a major step forward. Allowing access to the US for those vaccinated will open travel to the US for many who have been locked out for the past 18 months,” said Willie Walsh, IATA’s Director General.
“This is excellent news for families and loved ones who have suffered through the heartache and loneliness of separation.
“It’s good for the millions of livelihoods in the US that depend on global tourism. And it will boost the economic recovery by enabling some key business travel markets”.
“This announcement marks a key shift in managing the risks of COVID-19 from blanket considerations at the national level to assessment of individual risk,” said Walsh.
“The next challenge is finding a system to manage the risks for travelers who do not have access to vaccinations.
“Data points to testing as a solution. But it is also critical that governments accelerate the global rollout of vaccines and agree a global framework for travel where testing resources are focused on unvaccinated travelers.
“We must get back to a situation where the freedom to travel is available to all”.